Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Agarwal0118 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:
Agarwal0118

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Agarwal, Amit
Application deadline:
4. Aug 2018
Start of PhD project:
1. Oct 2018

Project description:

Title:
Role of glial cells in neural circuits and fine-tuning of ensemble activity
Summary:
The focal aim of my laboratory is to understand the functional significance of neuron-glia connections in the neural circuits, and their role in cognition, learning, and memory; and study how disturbances in these fine cellular interactions can contribute to various neurological and psychiatric disorders ranging from multiple sclerosis to autism.
References:
Agarwal, A., Wu,, P.H., Hughes, E.G., Fukaya, M. Tischfield, M.A., Langseth, A.J., Wirtz, D., Bergles,, D.E. (2017) Transient opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore induces microdomain calcium transients in astrocyte processes. Neuron 93(3): 587-605

Perea, G., Gómez, R., Mederos, S., Covelo, A., Ballesteros, J.J., Schlosser, L., Hernández-Vivanco, A., Martín-Fernández, M., Quintana, R., Rayan, A., Díez, A., Fuenzalida, M., Agarwal, A., Bergles, D.E., Bettler, B., Manahan-Vaughan, D., Martín, E.D., Kirchhoff, F., Araque, A., (2017) Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks. eLife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.20362.

Otsu, Y., Couchman, K., Lyons, D.G., Collot, M., Agarwal, A., Mallet, J-M., Pfrieger, F.W., Bergles, D.E., Charpak,S. (2015) Calcium dynamics of astrocyte during neurovascular coupling. Nature Neuroscience. 18(2): 210-8

Paukert, M., Agarwal, A., Cha, J., Doze, V.A., Kang, J.U., Bergles D.E. (2014) Norepinephrine controls astroglial responsiveness to local circuit activity. Neuron. 82(6): 1263-70

Issa, J.B., Haeffele, B.D., Agarwal, A., Bergles, D.E., Young, E.D., Yue, D.T. (2014) Multiscale Optical Ca2+ Imaging of Tonal Organization in Mouse Auditory Cortex. Neuron. 83(4): 944-59

Agarwal, A., Bergles, D.E. (2014) Astrocyte morphology is controlled by neuron-derived FGF. Neuron. 83(2): 255-7

Agarwal, A., Dibaj P., Kassmann C.M., Goebbels S., Nave, K.-A., and Schwab, M. H. (2012) In vivo imaging and non-invasive ablation of pyramidal neurons in adult NEX-CreERT2 mice. Cerebral Cortex. 22(7): 1473-86
Methods that will be used:
Electrophysiology, optophysiology, multi-photon and light-sheet microscopy, mouse transgenics, histology (and tissue clearing), single-cell gene expression methodologies, and machine-learning based computational analysis methods (MATLAB/Python)
Cooperation partners:
My lab is collaborating with several local laboratories at the Heidelberg University and with the laboratories in the USA at the Johns Hopkins University, MIT and IBM Research.
Personal qualifications:
Previous research background in neuroscience and physiology is an advantage but is not required. The applicants with hands-on experience in neurophysiological methods, microscopy and computer programing in Matlab/Python will be strongly preferred. Excellent organizational skills, ability to work in a team and independently plan and conduct experimental research is essential. The working language of our laboratory is English, knowledge of the German language is not required.
Keywords:
neuroscience, physiology, brain, neural circuits, neuron-glia interactions, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, myelin, Ca2+ imaging, in vivo multi-photon microscopy, transgenic mice, advanced computational methods.